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Displaying items by tag: Clifden

#Lifeboats - Volunteers from Clifden RNLI had a pre-Christmas callout to go to the aid of a bull who fell from a steep cliff near the western Connemara town on Saturday evening (22 December).

At 5pm, Clifden RNLI’s deputy launching authority Saul Joyce requested the station’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat to launch to assist a local farmer whose bull had slipped down a cliff and become stuck on the shoreline below.

The area was inaccessible by road and difficult to access on foot. The farmer, three members of the public and the local vet were on scene.

Helmed by Alan Pryce and with crew members Thomas Davis, Daniel Whelan and Ian Shanahan onboard, the lifeboat was launched immediately and attended the scene around half a mile from the station.

Weather conditions at the time were favourable with a light westerly Force 1-2 breeze. The sea was flat and calm at high tide.

Crew member Davis was put ashore to assist the farmer and vet, and a plan was put in place whereby a bridle or halter was attached to the animal and passed to the lifeboat.

Under the instruction of the vet and farmer, the lifeboat gently made way astern and used the tension on the line to guide the animal off the dangerous rocks into the water.

The lifeboat crew then guided the bull as it swam to a nearby beach, where it made its way up the shore to safety.

The lifeboat stood by until all parties were safely away from the cliffs and water and then returned to base.

Speaking following the rescue, Clifden RNLI Helm Alan Pryce said: “We were happy to assist the local farmer and vet to help the bull out of the hazardous position it was in.

“We are very aware of the dangers posed by large animals that are distressed and were glad to be able to assist the farmer while also providing a safety presence to him and the individuals working with him to bring the bull to safety, on what was a dangerous and dark shore.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#StormAli - Emergency services were trying to access a caravan blown off a cliff near Clifden in Co Galway this morning (Wednesday 19 September) as Storm Ali sweeps across the country.

According to TheJournal.ie, a Swiss woman in her 50s staying in the caravan was found dead along the coastline below that rescuers initially having difficulty accessing.

A Status Orange wind warning is in place for all but Ireland’s south and south-eastern counties until this afternoon, with gusts in excess of 130 km/h possible in western and north-western coastal regions.

Met Éireann’s Status Orange marine weather warning advises that gales or strong gales will extend to all sea areas this morning, reaching storm force at times on Irish coastal waters from Valentia to Rossan Point to Belfast Lough and in the north Irish Sea — and up to violent storm force between Loop Head and Erris Head this morning, before and as winds veer westerly.

Updated at 6pm

Published in Weather
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#RNLI - A one-day cycling fundraiser for the RNLI is set to take place on Sunday 16 September when four cycling friends will ride 310km from Dublin to Clifden in Co Galway while wearing lifejackets for the entire trip.

Clifden RNLI’s station mechanic Robert King will cycle along with John James Flaherty, Daniel King and Ciaran Hickey of the Twelve Bens and Western Lakes Cycling Clubs.

The quartet will set off from the RNLI Regional Office in Swords on the morning of Sunday 16 September and make their way west across the Shannon to Clifden lifeboat station.

Organiser Rob King said: “Since we all share a common interest in cycling with our local clubs, we thought it would be a good idea to undertake a trip like this raising funds but also to raise awareness around water safety at the same time.

“We feel that since lifejackets are so compact nowadays that this exercise will highlight how easy it is to wear one. Our basic message is ‘If we can wear one, so can you’.”

The Lifejacket Cycling Challenge has an online donation page and you can also follow the group and see more photos and updates on Facebook.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Clifden RNLI’s D class lifeboat Celia Mary was on exercise at Glassilaun Beach for the annual sports day on Sunday (12 August) when it was alerted to a group of people cut off by the tide.

The inshore lifeboat proceeded to Illamore Island after the alert at 3.50pm. On approaching the island, they saw a woman up to her chest in the water holding onto a child who was visibly in distress.

The six-year-old child was immediately brought onboard the lifeboat followed by her mother. Both were wet, cold, frightened and extremely happy to finally be in safe hands.

Both casualties were given survivors lifejackets and a crew member gave the child his warm helmet. Her mother had a jacket which she wrapped around her to keep the wind off.

The lifeboat crew spotted one more adult and four children stranded on top of some rocks. They were also cut off by the rising tide, but not in immediate danger.

The woman recovered to the lifeboat indicated that she was the mother of two of the children still on the rocks. The crew brought another child on board the lifeboat, placing a lifejacket and helmet on her.

After that the lifeboat proceeded to the beach where the crew collected the casualties’ belongings, leaving crew member David O’Reilly with the four still cut off by the tide.

The casualties on board the lifeboat were then returned to the safety of the shore, and went back for the remaining four. The callout was complete at 5pm and the lifeboat was ready for service from Clifden at 7pm.

Elsewhere, Arklow RNLI’s lifeboat was launched at 2.04pm yesterday (Monday 13 August) following a pager alert to a kitesurfer and windsurfer both reported to be in difficulty south of Mizen Head.

With strong tides in the area, Arklow RNLI proceeded to the scene. Upon arrival, the lifeboat crew were made aware that the casualties had made it ashore safely and the lifeboat was stood down.

Following the callout, Mark Corcoran, Arklow RNLI’s volunteer press officer and community safety officer, said: “Thanks to the quick thinking of the local beach lifeguard, our lifeboat was launched early enough to be on scene to assist if necessary.

“People should never hesitate in calling us out. Before going out people need to check the tides and weather and make themselves aware of local hazards and always carry a mean of calling for help.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Portaferry RNLI’s volunteer crew were paged yesterday afternoon (Saturday 11 August) to go to the aid of two people stranded on Guns Island off Co Down.

The lifeboat launched at 3:20pm in overcast weather with good visibility and a Force 4 south-easterly wind but a rough sea state, and on arrival on scene 20 minutes later it was raining with poor visibility.

Newcastle, Bangor and Portaferry coastguard rescue teams were also in attendance, assisting from the shore.

The RNLI crew approached the scene where they rescued the two people and their dog from the island, where they were stranded after their six-metre punt got into difficultly and was destroyed on nearby rocks.

The casualties were taken to Ballyhornan Beach where they were transferred to the care of the coastguard rescue teams on shore.

Elsewhere, Clifden RNLI added to their busy August with a callout to a yacht with engine trouble both of Slyne Head on Friday afternoon (10 August).

A light Force 2 north-westerly wind made the yacht’s passage to Clifden slow going under sail alone. The Clifden lifeboat crew established a tow to Clifden Bay, which took over an hour, and the D-class lifeboat aided in mooring the yacht.

“Once on the mooring, a rope could be observed caught underneath the yachts hull and an attempt was made to release it. This proved unsuccessful but explained how the yacht had lost mechanical propulsion,” said Clifden RNLI coxswain David Barry.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - A small angling boat with one person on board was towed to safety by Wicklow RNLI after it got into difficulty near Wicklow Head on Wednesday evening (8 August).

The angler had earlier departed from Wicklow Port for a day’s fishing along the coast, but was unable to get the engine into gear to return to the harbour.

The inshore lifeboat launched shortly after 6pm with helm Vinnie Mulvihill and crew David O’Leary and Graham Fitzgerald, and located the drifting craft near Wicklow Head eight minutes later. Weather conditions at the scene were calm with a northerly wind force three.

The angling boat was taken in tow back to Wicklow Harbour and the angler was landed safely ashore.

Elsewhere, Clifden RNLI continued what’s been a busy August when the volunteer lifeboat rescued a boy separated from his kayak at Omey Island earlier on Wednesday afternoon.

The youngster and his friend were holidaying on the island in Claddaghduff with their families, who raised the alarm when one of the boys was seen in the water with his friend trying to help him.

Following the coastguard request after 2.30pm, the Atlantic 85 lifeboat launched from Clifden while the D Class lifeboat travelled by road and was launched at Claddaghduff. Winds were Force 6 and gusting to 7 at the time.

When the Atlantic 85 reached the scene, they found people waving from the eastern shore of the island and saw that the two boys involved had made it ashore to another beach in the area, where some other visitors were assisting them.

Clifden RNLI helm Thomas Davis manoeuvred the lifeboat close to the shore and crew member James Mullen then swam to attend to the boys before reuniting them with their families. They were cold and shaken after the ordeal but otherwise unharmed.

Speaking after the callout, Mullen said: “We were really glad to have been able to assist these lads and their families today and always encourage anyone concerned to raise the alarm as quickly as possible.

“Conditions at sea in this area can change rapidly even for experienced water users and we are always on hand to help where we can.”

The RNLI advise all kayakers to always carry a means of calling for help and to keep it in reach at all times.

More recently, Carrybridge RNLI’s rescue water craft and inshore lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards, were requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard to assist a man who was disorientated whilst navigating Tamlaght Bay in Upper Lough Erne in the early hours of this morning, Friday 10 August.

And Larne RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat and inshore lifeboat crews recently carried out a training exercise to simulate a casualty care and extraction scenario.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Clifden RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launched just after midnight on Monday (30 July) to reports of a flashing light spotted off the Connemara coast.

The bright flashing lights had been seen from the shore north-west of the Aughris peninsula, and the Cleggan Coast Guard requested the RNLI to launch to investigate. It was a low tide at the time of launch with a Force 5-6 wind blowing.

On arrival at the scene, the RNLI crew saw that the light was coming from a cardinal marker buoy navigational aid which had become detached from its original location and was now adrift.

Once they informed the coastguard, the volunteer crew comprising coxswain John Mullen, David O’Reilly, Ian Shanahan, Robert King, Thomas Davis and Owen Hayes returned to Clifden at around 3am.

Speaking following the callout, lifeboat navigator Hayes said: “This was a large south-west cardinal marker and once we determined the cause of the lights seen from shore we informed the coastguard, who then recorded it as a navigational hazard for other seagoing vessels.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Clifden RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was launched on Tuesday evening (17 July) for the medevac of a young woman who sustained a serious head injury in a cycling accident on Inishbofin.

Arriving at the island’s harbour at 8.53pm, lifeboat crew members Joe Acton and Daniel Whelan met the island nurse, carried out an assessment and then transferred the casualty, a visitor to the island, on board.

The lifeboat proceeded to Cleggan where an ambulance was waiting to transfer the casualty to University College Hospital Galway. The crew continued to monitor her condition throughout the crossing.

“The casualty in this case was certainly in need of urgent medical treatment and we were glad to have been able to help to transfer her quickly to the mainland,” said Clifden RNLI coxswain James Mullen.

“The summer population of Inishbofin increases massively due to tourism and as a result these sorts of situations while rare can arise. The presence of the RNLI all-weather boat in the area has certainly helped for these kinds of incidents.”

Earlier in the week, the Clifden all weather boat had been launched to another medical emergency in the island but stood down after the coastguard helicopter reached the scene first.

Elsewhere on Tuesday evening, Skerries RNLI were tasked to a motorised RIB that had suffered electrical failure north of Lambay Island.

Shortly after 9pm the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat launched with Joe May at the helm and crewed by Sheila May, AJ Hughes and Jack Keane.

As the lifeboat neared the island, the casualty vessel fired a white parachute flare to alert of their whereabouts in fading light.

The vessel, with four men and one woman on board, was taken under tow by the lifeboat and returned to the safety of Rush Harbour.

“Thankfully we were able to locate the casualty quickly and all on board were well and in good spirits,” said Skerries RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning.

“Our volunteers are always ready to respond and we would always advise anyone going to sea to carry more than one means of contacting the shore, and, if needed, to make the call for help early.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - A fisherman has died after his boat capsized off Cruagh Island near Clifden in Co Galway yesterday evening (Wednesday 23 May).

Volunteers from Clifden RNLI were involved in the search and rescue operation for the man after the alarm was raised by another fisherman shortly before 5pm.

Both Clifden RNLI’s Atlantic 85 inshore and the Mersey class all-weather lifeboats launched and made their way to the scene off Cruagh Island, some seven miles from the station.

The Irish Coast Guard’s Rescue 115 helicopter from Shannon was also tasked.

Once on scene, a search commenced and the helicopter crew spotted the casualty in the water and guided Clifden RNLI’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat to him.

The man was then transferred into the lifeboat where the lifeboat crew began to administer casualty care.

He was subsequently brought to Clifden lifeboat station where he was transferred into the care of ambulance paramedics and then airlifted by helicopter to hospital where he died as a short time later, as Independent.ie reports.

Speaking this morning following the tragic news, Clifden RNLI lifeboat operations manager John Brittain said: “All at Clifden RNLI would like to extend their sincere sympathies with the family of this man. Our thoughts are very much with them at this time.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Minutes after participating in the local St Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday 17 March, Clifden RNLI joined a full-scale search and rescue operation for two spear divers reported missing.

Clifden’s all-weather and inshore lifeboats were tasked alongside Achill RNLI, the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 and the Cleggan Coast Guard Unit in the search for the two men that had left Rossroe pier that morning in a small inflatable boat to go spear fishing on the north side of Killary Harbour. The men had not been since that morning.

At 1.12pm, Clifden RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Fisherman’s Friend was prepared for launch with coxswain Alan Pryce, mechanic Robert King, navigator Owen Hayes and crew members Tom Davis, Kieran Folan and David Coyne.

The D class inshore lifeboat Celia Mary was transported by road to Rossroe and was crewed by helm James Mullen and crewed by Brian Ward, David O’Reilly and Ian Shanahan. Shore crew volunteer Fergal Conneely drove the Land Rover with the inshore lifeboat in tow to launch at Rossroe pier.

Clifden’s inshore lifeboat shortly after arrived on the scene joining Rescue 118. The crew were briefed by the local fisherman who had reported the spear divers missing.

When he was out fishing about 90 minutes previously, he had seen them spear fishing on the north side of the bay with a small inflatable with an outboard engine. However, he hadn’t seen them or their inflatable since, and as their van was still on the pier, with the weather deteriorating, he decided to call for assistance.

Weather conditions had a north-easterly Force 5-6 wind as Rescue 118 were conducting an aerial search of the bay. The lifeboat crew then spotted a small inflatable with two people onboard trying to hang onto a barge.

Clifden RNLI helm James Mullen said: “I informed Rescue 118 of the possible sighting and they proceeded to the area with us. When we arrived on scene, the two men informed us that they were the two missing spear divers. 

“Their engine had broken down and they had tried to swim the across the bay with their boat but it had become swamped. Their legs had cramped and they were both exhausted. We towed them back to the pier at Rossroe and helped them recover their boat at 2pm.”

Clifden RNLI lifeboat operations manager John Brittain added: “The inshore D Class lifeboat Celia Mary, which was just named in a ceremony last year, has once again proved how much of a valuable asset it is to our station. 

“We are delighted to have been able to respond and bring these people to safety and are also very thankful for the vigilance of the local fisherman who raised the alarm and potentially avoided a much worse outcome today.”

Elsewhere on Saturday, Howth RNLI launched its all-weather lifeboat to reports of an upturned kayak spotted in rough seas off the nose of Howth.

A member of the public, while out walking on Howth Head, spotted what appeared to be a yellow upturned kayak just off the nose of Howth in very rough water and raised the alarm with the Irish Coast Guard, sending them a picture taken with their smartphone.

Howth RNLI was immediately tasked to investigate, with crew pagers sounding at 5.45pm and the lifeboat launched within 12 minutes. Weather conditions saw a very rough sea state in Force 6-7 easterly winds.

Despite the poor conditions, the kayak was quickly located and brought aboard the lifeboat. It looked like it had not been used for quite some time and had been adapted to support a floating structure. The lifeboat completed a search of the area and returned to base.

Speaking following the callout, Howth RNLI station mechanic Ian Sheridan said: “We have to compliment the member of the public for their quick action. While in this case it was thankfully a false alarm, the accuracy of their report to the coastguard allowed us to find the reported vessel and conduct a search.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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